Proper Care of Dwarf Cypress Plants


Dwarf cypress plants are smaller than cypress trees. They have delicate, lacy, needle-like foliage that range in color from a deep green to golden yellow. Dwarf cypress plants usually are grown as medium or large evergreen shrubs and often are called "false cypresses." There are two species of dwarf cypress plants. The first is the dwarf hinoki species, or Chamaecyparis obtuse. The second is the sawara cypress, or Chamaecyparis pisifera. Each species has many cultivars and the same general care requirements.

Step 1

Plant your dwarf cypress in a location where it will be exposed to at least a half-day of sunlight.

Step 2

Provide protection from the wind for the dwarf cypress by putting it near a wall or fence.

Step 3

Amend the soil with 6 inches of sphagnum peat moss to provide an acidic environment for your dwarf cypress.

Step 4

Fertilize the tree in the spring with a water-soluble, balanced (10-10-10), slow-release fertilizer developed for evergreen shrubs, using the dosage suggested on the label.

Step 5

Water the plant when the soil becomes dry 1 inch below the surface.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dwarf cypress plants are susceptible to wind damage, according to Erv Evans, a horticulturist with North Carolina State University. Do not let the cypress sit in very wet soil or standing water, as this can lead to root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Water-soluble, slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • Two Green Thumbs: Dwarf and Miniature Cypress
  • University of Florida: Hinoki Falsecypress
  • University of Florida: Sawara Falsecypress
  • North Carolina State University: Sawara Falsecypress
Keywords: dwarf cypress plants, growing false cypress, caring for Chamaecyparis

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.